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belladonnalily 02-17-2014 12:31 PM

Thinking about a rescue this year but hesitant...
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We are thinking about adding a new family member this year. We currently have a 10mo male GSD and an 11yo female lab/heelerX. We are still in the "thinking" stage and trying to determine whether a male or a female might be better, but meeting the individuals dogs would be the best way.

In any event, after reviewing some Adoption Applications, I'm hesitant to for several reasons. Maybe someone can let me know if these things will REALLY be a problem for a Rescue (maybe they are trying to weed out problems) or if I'm worrying too much.

1. My 10mo male is not neutered. He will be neutered around 18mo, unless he shows signs of needing it done earlier. I have left him intact while growing for potential health benefits. I have NO intentions of breeding.

2. I have seen wording about using the dog as a "working" dog. Does this include Schutzhund training? At this point I don't have any intention of competing, but I do train with a Schutzhund trainer right now. Whether the new addition will train with him, I don't know yet but it could be a possibility. I do it mainly for the obedience, but my pup has a blast doing bitework.

3. I'm not sure how to handle the housing question. We have lived in our house for 10 years. My husband was the farm manager, but the farm was sold several years ago and broken up. He now acts as caretaker for the owner that owns the large parcel our house is on, but that person lives in another state and only comes up a few times a year. While I suppose we could contact them for a written letter, I've never actually met them and really hate to bother them with something like this. My husband has always been the head decision maker on the property and we've never had to bother with anything like this. The old and new owners have never cared what type of animals we owned.

4. No fenced yard. Home is on 600 acres and dogs are never outside with supervision. We spend ALOT of time outside most of the year, and that is how we have always managed our dogs.

5. Crating vs. free in house. We don't leave dogs unattended together ever. Our old girl is free, and our pup is crated. Not sure if this is a problem for all rescues or just the one I'm looking at right now. Our dogs go with us most places, including to work part of the time, so it isn't as if they are crated 10hr/day 5 days a week.

Any thoughts? I'm just not sure whether I should proceed with trying to rescue, or just go back to a breeder and look for an older pup there. I've always wanted to rescue, but it just seems like potential homes have to fit such a restrictive criteria...would I be wasting my time?

pyratemom 02-17-2014 12:39 PM

I understand your confusion on the questions. Why don't you contact the rescue and ask for a clearer definition of the points you have made? It may help create a better rapport with them and help you get the rescue you want. I hesitated to get a rescue before Raina because I knew they would think our yard is too small or our fence is not tall enough and I do crate my animals nightly. I know I don't leave my dog outside to exercise itself and I don't leave my dog in the crate excessively but some rescues make it really hard to qualify for all their criteria as they don't know what qualifications and experience a person has. Good luck getting the dog you want. :)

LaRen616 02-17-2014 12:44 PM

I think you might have a problem getting approved because your male is intact and you don't have a fenced in yard.

My "other mother" has a lot of experience with Dobermans, she has owned several and her daughter has 2 of her own. She is an excellent owner, she spent thousands of dollars on Vet bills and acupuncture treatments when her female got Wobblers, she trains her dogs and dog sits for others. When she applied for a Doberman through our local Doberman Rescue she was denied because she has an invisible fence. It didn't matter that her dogs have been trained to not leave the yard regardless of the fence, it didn't matter how much knowledge she had with the breed and it didn't matter that she would make an excellent home for one of their dogs, they told her to call them back when she got a proper fence.

You can try to rescue but I think you have a better chance with a older puppy from a breeder or a retired show/working dog from a breeder.

Blanketback 02-17-2014 12:59 PM

You'd really have to talk to the rescue first. Some of them are flexible with their rules and some aren't. I like to think that the rules are set up to weed out the bad homes, and not to discourage people like you who will give the dogs a second chance at a loving home, even if you don't have a fence, lol. The intact male might be a biggie, but you have your reasons - and if you do go with a female, she'll be spayed first anyways. Good luck :)

llombardo 02-17-2014 01:15 PM

You might want to try a shelter, they might be easier to work with. I got my male st a shelter and that same shelter has 3 german shepherds right now.

misslesleedavis1 02-17-2014 01:42 PM

As a volunteer for a rescue in ontario i have approved a home with no fence around the yard, she lived on a farm with her husband, They had a intact male :) she was great, her husband was great and they got a giant approval from me. I have heard rescue horror stories, good people not being approved, i guess it depends alot on who is doing a home visit...assuming rescue rules are pretty much the same across the board?

Imthemomma 02-17-2014 01:53 PM

I also second the shelter idea too. I adopted both mine from our local animal shelter. :)

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Merciel 02-17-2014 02:08 PM


Originally Posted by Blanketback (Post 5037578)
You'd really have to talk to the rescue first. Some of them are flexible with their rules and some aren't.


You'll find that some rescue volunteers will talk to you and want to know the reasons behind your decisions (all of which are entirely reasonable as laid out in this thread), and others will just stop right there and reject your application without inquiring further.

Not only does it vary by rescue, but frequently it will vary by volunteer. For the most part, rescue volunteers are extremely passionate about the welfare of dogs, but not all of them are equally educated about all issues surrounding their training and care. You may run into volunteers who have weird ideas about bitework or who feel VERY STRONGLY about un-neutered dogs and are unaware of (or don't care about) the reasons to delay neutering until later in the animal's life.

It happens. The best advice I can give is to strive for understanding, try to be respectful of people's reasons and positions even when you disagree (remember: a lot of rescue volunteers have seen some pretty extreme cases, and these can result in them having jaded opinions about people and/or making incorrect snap judgments based on bad stuff they've encountered in the past), and just move on politely if you aren't making headway in a discussion.

MOSTLY, in my experience, volunteers do try to get to the bottom of ambiguous issues and give good adopters the benefit of the doubt. But not always. So, again: it happens.

Shelters tend to be much, much less stringent in their screening and adoption procedures. This can be good and bad. The good side is that it's usually much easier to adopt from them; the bad side is that you typically get a lot less information about the individual dog ahead of time (which can be an issue sometimes) and less support down the road if you happen to need it. A good rescue, like a good breeder, should be there for you if you run into problems after getting your new dog.

belladonnalily 02-17-2014 02:48 PM

24 Attachment(s)
Thanks all :)

My trainer has a 6mo female we can consider, so we may go that route if the rescues aren't willing to consider us. I didn't rescue the first time and got my pup from a breeder because my husband and teen daughters had no experience with GSDs, and I wanted their first one to be a clean slate and have no hidden issues. Everyone adores our boy and they've adjusted well to a new way of raising and training a dog. I feel we are ready for a potential challenge and really wanted to give a second chance to a deserving pup, so we'll see.

That said, I just received an email from the rescue that has an older pup I liked, and apparently we are out of their area (they only adopt to certain parts of our state.) :(

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Magwart 02-17-2014 07:10 PM

Every rescue really is different. Adopters who wouldn't qualify with a rescue down the road might qualify with mine, and vice versa. All of us are looking for "good" homes -- some think "good" doesn't necessarily mean "perfect," and others think "good" means satisfying a stringent checklist.

What part of the country are you in?

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